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The Stolen Childby Keith Donohue
Synopses & Reviews
The Stolen Child is unsentimental and vividly imagined. Keith Donohue evokes the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder. I enjoyed it immensely.
--Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
An ingenious, spirited allegory for adolescent angst, aging, the purpose of art, etc., that digs deep. Grade: A
Donohue has done the remarkable in fashioning an inaugural effort that fairly begs the term 'classic.' Indeed, it's tempting to compare his work here to that of Barrie, Baum, and even Tolkien--not just as a fanciful exploration of a childhood surrendered, but for its visual imagery and magic prose. But that simply wouldn't be fair since it stands tall of its own accord.
The Stolen Child is a truly remarkable work on the ancient legend of the changeling. Keith Donohue's poignant take on the myth, rooting it in our time, and telling it from the alternating viewpoints of the two changelings, makes for one of the most touching and absorbing novels I have read in years.
--Peter Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
Take that, Bilbo Baggins Donohue's sparkling debut especially delights because, by surrounding his fantasy with real-world, humdrum detail, he makes magic believable.
A haunting debut...Donohue keeps the fantasy as understated as the emotions of the characters, while they work through their respective growing pains. The result is an impressive novel of outsiders whose feelings of alienation are more natural than supernatural.
A haunting, unusual first novel.
--Library Journal (starred review)
Enchanting...Donohue seamlessly blends the fantastical with the real here, with a matter-of-fact approach to the magic that exists on the edges of everyday life. This is a mysterious journey told in lyrical prose.
Keith Donohue has gone to the far margins of risk to bring back a strange and wonderful tale of Henry Day/Aniday, changeling and stolen child, set to his prose's unearthly music.
--Brian O'Doherty, author of The Deposition of Father McGreevy
From the Hardcover edition.
“I am a changeling–a word that describes within its own name what we are bound and intended to do. We kidnap a human child and replace him or her with one of our own. . . .”
The double story of Henry Day begins in 1949, when he is kidnapped at age seven by a band of wild childlike beings who live in an ancient, secret community in the forest. The changelings rename their captive Aniday and he becomes, like them, unaging and stuck in time. They leave one of their own to take his place, an imposter who must try–with varying success–to hide his true identity from the Day family. As the changeling Henry grows up, he is haunted by glimpses of his lost double and by vague memories of his own childhood a century earlier. Narrated in turns by Henry and Aniday, The Stolen Child follows them as their lives converge, driven by their obsessive search for who they were before they changed places in the world.
Moving from a realistic setting in small-town America deep into the forest of humankind’s most basic desires and fears, this remarkable novel is a haunting fable about identity and the illusory innocence of childhood.
Stolen by changelings from his family and home, Henry Day is given the name Aniday by the ageless and magical beings, who replace him with another child who takes his place with his parents, a young boy who possesses an extraordinary gift of music but who is haunted by persistent memories of a life in another time and place. A first novel. Reprint.
About the Author
Keith Donohue lives in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. For many years, he was a speechwriter at the National Endowment for the Arts and now works at another federal agency. The Stolen Child is his first novel.
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